The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company Limited (FilmTT) and the Arts Association Collective of T&T (AACTT) distributed “Work-From-Home” Relief Hampers to twenty (20) Creatives on October 4th-5th, 2021, as part of an AACTT initiative to encourage Creatives to continue working, creating content, and facilitating projects in the sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. The AACTT is an informal collaboration of over twenty-two (22) Arts Associations across Trinidad and Tobago.
This initiative was created through the collaboration of AACTT and project coordinator, Black Collar Creative, with the support of lead sponsor, National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB), and sponsor and facilitating agency, FilmTT. The key partnering associations include the National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago (NDATT), the Trinidad and Tobago Performing Arts Network (TTPAN) and the Filmmakers Collaborative of Trinidad and Tobago (FILMCO).
With the assistance of equipment coordinator, Baird’s Affordable Imports, Creatives received hampers containing film equipment and accessories to encourage them to continue working, creating content, and facilitating projects in the sector, while packaging the products of their creativity for virtual and online distribution and dissemination. Hamper recipients are working on projects across a range of creative industry sectors, including comedy, dance, fashion, film/animation, culture and music education, theatre, and virtual and digital arts.
“I’m very grateful to the collective organizations [AACTT and FilmTT] who came up with the initiative to help creatives produce better quality online content,” said Natalia Dopwell-Gomez, Singer and Vocal Teacher. Dopwell-Gomez hopes to use her new equipment to deliver interactive Masterclass sessions on Vocal Health and Performance through online media platforms.
“The spirit of the project was to demonstrate the possibilities of synergies through collaboration and good self-governance in the T&T Arts community, especially among Arts and Culture stakeholder organizations and Associations,” confirmed Janine Charles-Farray, Project Coordinator and Managing Director, Marketing Strategist of Black Collar Creative. “The AACTT set out to do this with an understanding of mutual trust, fairness and honesty. In spite of the pandemic, there is a wealth of creative work and projects out there waiting to be developed, which can earn income and create work opportunities for creatives – if only they could get the investment needed. We especially thank the NLCB and FilmTT for the low-risk seed funding to get these projects off the ground, and we welcome a repeat of this project with partners who are seeking to make a real and lasting impact with arts and cultural workers of T&T”
“Our pre-selection committee members ranged across several creative art forms and genres and they did a fantastic job during the process,” expressed Safa Niamat-Ali President of The National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago. “We want to expressly thank them and the moderators of the sessions for their time and dedication to this first-time project.
“The selection committee really had their work cut out for them. We received applications for so many really amazing projects, but could only award hampers to 20 recipients,” added Triston Wallace, Managing Director of the T&T Performing Arts Network. “Our creative sector is burgeoning with unharnessed potential. With additional corporate support, we, through the AACTT hope to support even more projects come to fruition.”
The call for applications went out to the public from August 16th to 23rd 2021 and over 70 eligible projects were received from the Culture and Arts sectors. The call was open to individuals only, with each applicant requiring any form of certification from an official sector database, such as the Artists Registry of Trinidad and Tobago or an endorsement letter from Arts Associations of Trinidad and Tobago.
Each application was assessed on the merit of the project against criteria guidelines. A four-day selection process involving ten sub-committees comprising selected practitioners of the Culture and Arts community short-listed thirty (30) applications, which were further reduced to the final twenty (20) recipients.
Both collectively and individually, T&T’s Arts Associations have programmes and projects in need of support and sponsorship at this time to ensure that artists and creatives are given the space to survive and transition to working online and digitally. The AACTT encourages continued private sector collaboration with these associations in financing problem-solving support programmes and initiatives in the creative and cultural sectors. It also invites sponsors who may be interested in partnering in repeating the “Work-From-Home” Relief Hamper project to contact: firstname.lastname@example.org in aid of getting more artists and creatives back to work.
Hamper Recipients & Creative Projects:
- Afi Binta Ford-Hopson (Theatre) – “Arts for Life Personal Development and Skills Building”
- Ahalia St Bernard (Theatre) – “New Play Festival”
- Anika Plowden-Corentin (Visual, Virtual or Digital Arts) – “To Dream Again, Art & Wellness”
- Anthony Gonzales (Film/Animation) – “Film Podcast & Music Performances”
- Brendon O’Brien (Theatre/Spoken word Fusion) – “The Griot Guild”
- Curtis Bachan (Theatre Fusion) – “Online Theatre Stories – ‘Behind the Scenes’”
- Karishma Ramoutar (Film/Animation) – “Virtual Ramleela and Dance and Special Needs”
- Kelly – Ann Withstrum (Dance) – “Traditional Arts and Historical Costumes – Virtual”
- Kendall Layne (Film/Agriculture Fusion) –“Coleus868”
- Louris Martin Lee-Sing (Comedy) – “Jokey With Lyrix Comedy Showcase”
- Marsha Gomes-Mckie (Visual, Virtual or Digital Arts) – “Exploring Words and Art”
- Mikhel Carter (Music) – “Amantes Parang Video Project”
- Natalia Dopwell-Gomez (Music) – “Rapid Progress Online Master Sessions”
- Natifa Alexander Romero (Fashion) – “Stride Faces of Fashion”
- Nedra Waldron (Fashion) – “Evening Wear Fashion Collection”
- Nisha Doughlin (Visual, Virtual or Digital Arts) – “Introduction to Metalsmithing – Jewelry Design”
- Olubusola Chung (Dance) – “Virtual Cultural Caravan”
- Sachelle Thomas (Music) – “Sach and Steel”
- Sean Hodgkinson (Film/Culinary Fusion) – “Easy Tings”
- Sonja Dumas (Film/Animation) – “Mapping the Madras”
The Arts Association Collective of T&T is currently an informal collective comprising over twenty-two (22) representatives, including Presidents and Executive Committee members of incorporated, community-based and stakeholder-led Arts Associations and cultural groups, who have come together since March 2020 to discuss, share perspectives, lobby the State and take initiatives for the relief, recovery and rejuvenation of the Arts and Cultural sector in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.